This could have been on about three cool underground labels back in the day.
It easily could have found a home on Holy, Adipocere or Cacophonous’ rosters, and delighted continental fans.
That was then, and this is now. But Ollie Gill’s melodic blackened gothic underground project still retains so much charm of that era that it’s hard to pass up.
It’s one of those that you’d file under ‘labour of love’ – clearly its taken hours and hours, with all those layers of keyboards and choral swathes over detailed and thorough riffing.
I’m reminded mostly of Diabolical Masquerade on this – if you remember Blackheim from Katatonia’s side project? – most especially around his ‘Deaths Design’ album.
The black raspy vocals sat over piano and orchestrated riffs that are just redolent of the mid 90s.
The guitars themselves are chunky, harmonised and memorable, fully of beef. The drum programming is similarly impressive.
And in terms of arrangements, there is plenty here to please fans of mid period Cradle Of Filth as well. ‘She Who Would Rise Again’ is prime ‘Cruelty And The Beast’-era pomp, with an intriguing time signature change in it as well to keep you guessing. ‘Claudia’ has much of this feel in it as well.
It’s neither dirty nor impulsive, but that’s not really the music’s brief. It’s all about the atmospheres of Carpathian woods, goblets of red wine and vampyric lustre.
Time, as we all know, has long moved on past that aesthetic. But The Blessing Way does it so well that at least a listen is well rewarded.
If you like the old names of Legenda, Gloomy Grim, Diabolical Masquerade, Dismal Euphony and their ilk, you’ll be rewarded here.
3.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 10/04/18